Sunday, November 10, 2013

USS South Dakota

All the way back in August we took the opportunity to play tourist in our home state. Where ever I live I will always think of South Dakota as my home state. 

Turns out our state had a very successful battleship named after it in WWII, USS South Dakota, AKA Battleship X. In her five years of operation she received thirteen battle stars. Battle stars were issued to US Navy warships for meritorious participation in battle or for suffering damage during battle conditions. She was nicknamed Battleship X due to her successes before her first year in operation. She operated in the Pacific Theater, seeing 15 months of combat in her first tour.

The largest town in SD, Sioux Falls, is home to the memorial. The memorial is shaped like the ship rising out of the ground. Rather a neat idea I think. You feel a bit like you're walking on board a mighty battleship.

The chain links were hefty. I just had to place my knitting bag there to give you a glimpse just how big the chain links are. Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "ball and chain" if this is your chain.

This would be the anchor and my anchor clanker. Dad says thats's what the Navy guys were called during his time in the Army. You know how witty the Army guys are.

The mast overlooking a set of guns.

This was one of the 16 inch guns. It was massive. No really I mean massive. I don't remember the size but I do remember the feeling staring a long ways down its barrel.

They had one of the screws on display too. That thing was massive also as you can see.

My father-in-law told me that the ship was considered a bad luck ship initially because the state of South Dakota broke with tradition. The state was too poor, too thrifty, or too cheap to buy the ward room china. Traditionally the honoree outfits the ward room. But I can not find confirmation of this. I suppose it is not one of the things that you should note about a great battleship. Only the ex-Navy guys can talk about it. 

I first learned of Battleship X when touring USS Yorktown in Charleston, SC. They had a whole room of clippings and displays of her successes. There is a video about her here.

Battleship X or the USS South Dakota did her job and did it very well!

1 comment:

  1. that's awesome! Thanks for sharing.